Core Strategy - Consultation Draft

Comment ID 990177/CSCD/1
Document Section Core Strategy - Consultation Draft Chapter 1: Introduction Sustainability Appraisal View all on this section
Respondent Mark Lewis View all by this respondent
Response Date 30 Dec 2009
We need to get far more serious about sustainability than this strategy proposes:

Creation of an off-road cycle network connecting every town and village should be a principal transport objective. Where off-road cycling like the Flax Bourton Greenway is available, the majority of people cycle. The strategy proposes new roads which will destroy the countryside, encourage car use and lead to more development.

Broadband connectivity needs to be integrated with the policy. The rollout of new broadband technologies such as ADSL2 and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) will be the most important infrastructure development in North Somerset in the next decade. Good internet access is essential for home working, online shopping and to participating in online democracy. Telecoms has traditionally been a blind spot in local planning because basic phone connectivity was universally provided, that needs to change.

Producing food locally should be a principal sustainability objective. The green belt around each settlement should be used to produce the fruit and vegetables consumed by its residents. This will conserve the character of the countryside as well as reduce transport use. Locally grown in-season veg tastes better and is healthier.

All new homes and commercial buildings should have south-facing roofs with substantial photovoltaic solar panels. Each settlement should aim to generate the power it consumes using solar panels or wind turbines, with each community to decide the mix. The alternative is nuclear power from Hinckley Point. Apart from the dangers of nuclear power, we are already dealing with the landscape impact and huge cost of the pylons to connect it. The three large turbines at Avonmouth produce 2MW each, the smaller one at Noah's Ark Zoo 15kW. The November 2009 Scientific American outlines how all energy could be practically produced using wind, water and sunlight.

We should be clear that population growth resulting from net immigration is a principal threat to the environment in North Somerset and that only a policy of zero net immigration is sustainable. While we should reasonably be expected to accommodate population growth from people living longer and more people living alone, we should not have to accommodate population growth resulting from government policy that allows net immigration. Accommodation for the elderly and single people would best be met by retirement flats and apartments in central urban areas.